Friday, March 4, 2011

Thunder Snow and The Synopsis

So last night, I was just sitting in my room working on an outline and new scenes for Novel B2. All of a sudden it started pouring ice balls (hail with a twist), and the little things were bouncing off the roof and windows with a tremendous amount of noise. A few minutes later it began snowing like crazy.

And lightening.

And thundering.

We were having a true thunder-snow-storm.

This morning there was about five inches of snow, and it is still coming down.

I have decided that March is the most indecisive month. One day it feels like spring (fifty degrees, clear, sunny), and the next we’re having thunder snow. Go figure.

Anyway, today’s the day for…

Writing Hints!!

So, here we go:

Writing Hint #9 (Query Hint #6)

Another item frequently needed during the submission process is a synopsis. Some agents do not require them. In fact, Suzie Townsend, with FinePrint Literary Management, has gone so far as to call them “evil.”

A synopsis is certainly not the easiest thing to write, but it is likely that you will need one at some point in the submission process. Because of this, you need to know what it is and how to write it.

The synopsis is not the same as a query letter. The keywords for a query are “brief” and “enticing.” In a query letter, you introduce your novel and tell what it is about in such a way as to catch an agent’s attention. You should do this in no more than 250 words. Do not reveal the end of the story.

A synopsis is a much longer summary of your novel, approximately 2-3 double-spaced pages (this varies from agent to agent). In the synopsis you usually *do* tell how the story ends. There is no “holding out” in a synopsis.

I am going to redirect you to a post by Nathan Bransford. I am including a portion of it below, but please click the link to read the post in its entirety.


A synopsis is not an opportunity to talk about every single character and every single plot point in a "and then this happened and then this happened" fashion. A synopsis needs to do two things: 1) it needs to cover all of the major characters and major plot points (including the ending) and 2) it needs to make the work come alive. If your synopsis reads like "and then this happened and then this happened" and it's confusing and dull, well, you might want to revise that baby.

…in the synopsis, you definitely want to capture how the novel begins and the hook and include all of the major climaxes and the big climax at the end. Between those points introduce major characters and their relationships, and make sure you're conveying the core of the conflicts between all of these elements. But then, rather than just filling in with more and more plot and more and more characters, connect the dots between them with your own summarizing, in order to make the synopsis easy to read and compelling on its own.


Jessica Faust, with BookEnds, LLC, also has an informative post about the synopsis here.

Do you have any words of wisdom regarding the synopsis or helpful links with tips about writing it? 

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